Leen Helmink Antique Maps

East Indies by Janssonius




Insularum Indiae Orientalis Nova Descriptio


Amsterdam, 1633


38.9 x 50.4 cms


Copper engraving

Stock number





$ 1500


"The map reproduced here is proof of the fact, that Janssonius' maps also in their content could equal, or even surpass those of his competitor Blaeu.

On this 'New Description of the East Indies' of 1633, Janssonius presents information about the area, that does not appear on any printed map by any other contemporary cartographer. This concerns the 'Duyfkens Eylant' to the south of New Guinea: its position and name on this map proves that Janssonius was aware of a journey of discovery to Australia by a Dutch ship of that name, that took place as early as 1605-1606. How he came by this information remains a mystery: Willem Jansz Blaeu had been nominated cartographer to the VOC in the same year that this map was first published. In view of the fierce competition between them, this rules Blaeu out as a possible source of information.

This map was reprinted until late in the 17th century. Apart from general pictures such as this, the Dutch contribution to cartographic knowledge of Asia in that period has been conspicuously small. While the Dutch became mapmakers to and of the known world in the 17th century, this scarcity of material regarding Asia is in strong contrast to the many and detailed contemporary maps of areas of the world, where the Dutch did not have comparably strong commercial interests."